Have you ever wondered why some people just don't get wrinkles? Some recent research now has data to show how genetics play a role in aging, specifically, our skin and its biochemical makeup differs among various ethnic groups. Although this idea seems quite intuitive, only recent studies have produced scientific data to support this hypothesis.
It has been hypothesized that dark skin types had greater intercellular cohesion enabling stronger protection against transepidermal water loss. Dr. Dara Liotta, a plastic surgeon confirms that genetically, individuals with darker skin tones containing more melanin (such as Hispanic, Mediterranean, Asian-American, and African-American people) are pre-disposed to have thicker skin, resulting in the less prominent appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as they age. Overall, ethnic skin has a more compact stratum corneum and thereby has a higher epidermal barrier. Research performed by Dr. Dennis Weigand published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology compared the stratum corneum among various skin type subjects from Fitzpatrick Skin Type I to VI and demonstrated that the darkly pigmented skin required more tape strippings to disrupt the epidermal barrier.
If you are not lucky enough to be in the age gracefully camp, you can still be proactive in preventing the appearance of wrinkles. But first, let’s understand the science to help you choose the right ingredients to do the job.
The stratum corneum has an important job to protect your body from the external environment. Additionally, it plays a central role in regulating the permeability of the skin and preventing water loss. The Stratum Corneum consists of 15-20 layers of flat, dead cells that no longer have their nucleus. Within the stratum corneum are ceramides (lipid molecules) together with cholesterol and fatty acids, play an essential role in structuring and maintaining the water permeability barrier. Although it is difficult to directly attribute skin disorders such as eczema to changes in the barrier lipid composition, clinical studies have observed a decrease in total ceramide content with some differences in the ceramide pattern. Therefore, topical creams with formulations containing lipids of ceramides identical to those in the skin could improve skin conditions.
References for this article:
- Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Volume 62, Issue 6, June 1974, Pages 563-568
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003; 4(2): 107-29. Ceramides and skin function.
- "The Science Behind Why Some People Naturally Age Slower", The Cut, February 2017.